Nile Lawrence-Stample is a redshirt senior defensive tackle from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He was rated as a 3-star prospect out of high school. Lawrence-Stample has been a three-year starter at defensive tackle for Florida State and a four-year contributor. He started alongside All-American Timmy Jernigan as well as a number of other Florida State defensive tackles that have been drafted in the NFL. He will likely join them after the 2016 NFL Draft.
He redshirted his freshman year in 2011. In 2012 he played in 8 games recording 10 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. Lawrence-Stample spent most of that season on the Scout team, and thinks that really helped him prepare for the rest of his career.
"I think it played a huge role," Lawrence-Stample said. "Coach Odell is someone that really makes sure that you're not slacking off on the Scout team. He's looking at the film sometimes and making sure that you're staying on your keys. I played with Andrew Datko, Zebrie Sanders. I played with some really good offensive linemen. Bryan Stork. So me being able to see the speed and get my fits and play with them it was awesome.
When it came time for the bowl game my freshman year we, obviously, had less depth so I was really able to show how much I had learned and I was able to really grasp concepts and stuff like that at the bowl game. That kind of propelled my sophomore season."
Former Florida State defensive tackle Everett Dawkins was one of the main reasons that Lawrence-Stample was able to progress as quickly as he did his redshirt freshman year. Dawkins took Lawrence-Stample under his wing before heading off to the NFL after his senior year in 2012.
"Everett Dawkins," Lawrence-Stample said. "I would have to say would be one of them. He was a big mentor to me and I idolized him a lot."
Lawrence-Stample moved into a starting role next to Jernigan in 2013 where he started 6 games. He finished the year with 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss while helping Florida State win their third National Championship. Starting on a National Championship team will be one of the main legacies that this senior class will leave.
"Being able to come on a team, and not only sit back behind the scenes, but be able to really contribute like me, Terrance Smith, Reggie [Northrup]," Lawrence-Stample said. "All these different players that were able to have a chance to not just be there and get groomed, but to actually have a chance to start on a National Championship team will probably be our legacy. It will be mine for sure."
Unfortunately for Lawrence-Stample, 2014 was a rough year for him. He started two of the first three games of the season for the Seminoles, but tore his pectoral muscle in the third game against Clemson. He was expected to be done for the year, but battled back from injury and played in the Rose Bowl against Oregon. He finished the year with 10 tackles and .5 tackles for loss.
This season Lawrence-Stample has been a force to be reckoned with. With three games left to playe's a half tackle away from eclipsing his tackle total from the rest of his career with 27.5, and has already passed his tackle for loss total with 3.5. He's also added 2.5 sacks, the first of his career.
This Saturday will be his last home game as a Seminole, but that hasn't sunk in for him yet. He did say that playing at Florida State has been a blessing.
"I couldn't be blessed any more," Lawrence-Stample said. "I've been able to see this program go from being in the Champs Bowl to the Orange Bowl to the National Championship. It's been an amazing time. There have been numerous times where I'm just like, 'Well I kind of made the best decision I've ever made in my life in terms of any school that I could ever be at. It means a lot."
This senior class will have a chance to tie the record for most games one by a single class in Florida State history on Saturday against UT Chattanooga. They will also have a chance to be the first class in Florida State history to win 50 games.
"That would mean a lot," Lawrence-Stample said. "Just because it seems like our hard work has really paid off. We've been able to lay some groundwork for the upcoming seasons for Florida State."